Totten interviews Andrew Tabler, who spent many years living and working in and out of Damascus. Some good analysis at the link:
‘…but Assad may be able to hold on longer than most people think, including those in the Obama administration. He’s not making the choices he could to get out of this. He’s not reforming. He’s not going to change the minority nature of the state.
At the same time, he has—and I talk about this in the book—he has one of the youngest populations in the Middle East. The demographics are a mess. Many Syrians were born in the ten years after the Hama massacre in 1982. Syria at the time had one of the fastest growing populations on the planet. All those young people are now out in the streets. In the long run I don’t see how a system run by the Alawite minority and that has been unable to reform under the Assad family for 42 years can accommodate the new Syria. In the end the regime will go down, but it could be very bloody’
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